Posts Tagged ‘chess lessons’

Don’t Play 2… f6?

July 26, 2018

Just don’t.

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So I was just playing a game of #chess and then this happened… 9

July 25, 2018

What is white’s best move?

What is white’s best move?

Get a free introductory lesson ($40 value) when you work with Chris Torres on Wyzant. Claim your free lesson today to schedule a lesson at any time. Just use Coach Chris’ link: https://is.gd/u5bIVd

My Favorite #Chess Games: The Opera House Game

June 12, 2018

The Opera House Game is perhaps the most famous chess game to have ever been played. It’s title is derived from the fact that the great American chess master Paul Morphy defeated the Duke Karl of Brunswick and the Count Isouard while all the parties involved were watching Norma being performed from the box seats at the Paris Opera House. I show this game several times a year to demonstrate the art of attacking in chess. Included below the game are my lesson notes.

 

paul-morphy-b283cfd9-dd4e-4a18-82cc-0d3c1c55ad2-resize-750

 

imb_s1xk6p

The Opera House Game

 

[Event “The Opera House Game”]
[Site “Paris (France)”]
[Date “1858”]
[Round “”]
[White “Morphy Paul”]
[Black “Duke Karl of Brunswick and the Count Isouard”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C41”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ PHILIDOR’S def.,C41] Morphy Paul +8 =1 -1 Duke Karl Count Isouard +0 =0 -1 Morphy Paul-Duke Karl Count Isouard +1 =0 -0}
1.e4 {Paul Morphy’s favorite way to start a game.} e5 2.Nf3 {Knights before bishops.}
d6 {Philidor’s Defense was quite popular during the time of Paul Morphy’s European
adventures and he was quite adept with either color of it.} {%08DA}
3.d4 {Paul Morphy choses to place a second pawn in the center. Of course, developing
a second piece with a move like Bc4 is also good.} Bg4 {?!} {
A questionable choice for black. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to bring
out a knight before the bishop. Here black could have played Nf6 or Nd7. Also
fine is exchanging pawns with exd4. Below are sample games for each move.}
( 3…exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Be7 6.g3 d5 7.e5 Ng4 8.Bg2 O-O 9.Nxd5
Bc5 10.c3 c6 11.Ne3 Nxe5 12.O-O Re8 13.b4 Bb6 14.a4 a5 15.Bb2
Na6 16.bxa5 Bxa5 17.Qc2 Qf6 18.Rad1 Qg6 19.Be4 Qh5 20.c4 Nc5
21.Bg2 Bh3 22.f4 Bxg2 23.Kxg2 {…0-1, Carlsen Magnus (NOR) 2837 – Mamedyarov Shakhriyar (AZE) 2726 , Astana 7/10/2012 Ch World (blitz) (final)}
) ( 3…Nf6 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.O-O {?} ( 6.Bxf7+ Kxf7 7.Ng5+
$40 ) O-O 7.Qe2 c6 8.Bg5 ( {‘better is’} 8.a4 {‘better is’} )
h6 9.Bh4 Nh5 10.Bg3 Nxg3 11.hxg3 b5 12.Bd3 a6 13.a4 Bb7 14.Rad1
Qc7 15.axb5 axb5 16.g4 Rfe8 17.d5 b4 18.dxc6 Bxc6 19.Nb1 Nc5
20.Nbd2 Qc8 21.Bc4 g6 ( 21…Qxg4 22.Bxf7+ {!} $18 ) 22.g3 Kg7
23.Nh2 Bg5 24.f3 Qc7 25.Rfe1 Rh8 26.Ndf1 h5 27.gxh5 Rxh5 28.Bd5
Rah8 29.Bxc6 Qxc6 30.Qc4 Qb6 31.Kg2 Ne6 32.Re2 Nd4 33.Ree1 Qb7
{!} 34.Rxd4 ( 34.c3 bxc3 35.bxc3 ( 35.Qxc3 Rc8 $41 ) Qb2+ $19 )
exd4 35.Ng4 ( 35.Qxd4+ Bf6 36.Qxd6 Rd8 ) Qb6 36.f4 Be7 37.Rd1
f5 38.Nf2 fxe4 39.Qxd4+ Qxd4 40.Rxd4 d5 41.g4 Bc5 {!} 42.Rd1
Rh4 43.Rxd5 Bxf2 44.Kxf2 Rxg4 45.Ke3 Rc8 46.Kxe4 Rc4+ 47.Kd3
Rcxf4 48.Ne3 Rg3 49.Re5 Kf6 50.Re8 Kf7 51.Re5 Rf6 52.c4 b3 53.Ke4
Re6 54.Rxe6 Kxe6 55.Nd5 g5 {0-1, Teichmann Richard (GER) – Nimzowitsch Aaron, San Sebastian 1911 It}
) ( 3…Nd7 4.Bc4 c6 5.dxe5 dxe5 6.Be3 Be7 7.Nc3 Qc7 {‘better is’ Ng8-f6, 0-0, Rf8-e8}
8.a4 Nc5 9.b4 {?} ( {‘better is’} 9.Ng5 {‘better is’} Nh6 10.h3
{!} {=} ) Ne6 10.Rb1 Nf6 11.O-O O-O 12.Ne1 ( 12.Ba2 {!?} )
( 12.Be2 {!?} {(B) Alekhin} ) b5 {!} 13.Bb3 a5 14.axb5
( 14.bxa5 b4 15.Ne2 Qxa5 $17 ) axb4 {} $17 {} 15.b6 Qb7 16.Ne2
c5 17.c3 {!} Bd7 ( 17…Nxe4 {?!} 18.cxb4 cxb4 19.Nc2 {=} ) 18.cxb4
cxb4 19.Ng3 Nc5 20.Bc4 Ncxe4 21.Nxe4 Nxe4 22.Bd5 ( 22.Qd5 $13
Bc6 ( 22…Qxd5 23.Bxd5 Nc3 24.Bxa8 Nxb1 25.Be4 ) 23.Qxe5 Bd6
24.Qf5 Rae8 {} ) Bc6 23.Bxc6 Qxc6 24.Qh5 Nc3 $18 25.Rb2 Qb5 {!}
26.Nf3 ( 26.g3 Ra1 $18 ) Ne2+ 27.Rxe2 Qxe2 28.Qxe5 Bf6 29.Qc5
b3 30.Bf4 Rfe8 {!} 31.b7 Qxf1+ 32.Kxf1 Ra1+ 33.Bc1 b2 {0-1, Von Bardeleben Kurt (GER) – Alekhine Alexander A (RUS), Dusseldorf 1908 It}
) 4.dxe5 {Paul Morphy aims to punish his opponents’ last move.}
Bxf3 {Practically forced because otherwise:} ( 4…dxe5 5.Qxd8+
Kxd8 6.Nxe5 Be6 {and black is a pawn down and has lost their right to castle.}
) 5.Qxf3 {It is fine for Morphy to develop his queen to f3 as it does not block the
already exchanged knight that originated on g1. However, this didn’t stop
Steinitz from criticizing Morphy play here. Steinitz, who enjoyed finding
“mistakes” in Morphy’s games suggested the following:}
( 5.gxf3 dxe5 6.Qxd8+ Kxd8 7.f4 Nf6 8.fxe5 Nxe4 9.Bg2 Nc5 10.b4
{This is obviously good for white but history prefers Morphy’s method.}
) {%09DB} dxe5 {An interesting position where both sides have one pawn in the center and active queens.} {%09DB}
6.Bc4 {White develops with a Scholar’s Mate style threat. However, here Morphy’s
success is not dependent on poor play from his opponent as is the case with the actual Scholar’s Mate.}
Nf6 7.Qb3 {!} {A very powerful move which threatens both the pawn on b7 and the belly-button.}
Qe7 {The Duke and the Count wisely decide to defend the pawn that is attached to their king safety.}
8.Nc3 {Paul Morphy had three good choices here. The butcher’s choice would be to play
“8. Qxb7 Qb4+ 9. Qxb4 Bxb4” and grind out a long endgame victory. A robot could
evaluate 8. Bxf7+ as best and win in a cold fashion. However, it took Paul
Morphy to recognize that 8. Nc3 was the only move with potential to make the game a true artistic masterpiece.}
( 8.Qxb7 Qb4+ 9.Qxb4 Bxb4+ 10.Bd2 Bxd2+ 11.Nxd2 O-O 12.f3 Nc6
13.c3 Rab8 14.O-O-O Na5 15.Be2 h6 16.Nc4 Nxc4 17.Bxc4 Rb6 18.Rd2
Rc6 19.Bb3 a5 20.Rhd1 a4 21.Bxa4 Ra6 22.Bb3 c5 23.Rd8 Ne8 24.R1d7
Rf6 25.Bc4 g6 26.a4 Ng7 27.a5 Nh5 {…1-0, Kunte Abhijit (IND) 2517 – Akshay Vijayan (IND) 1766 , Jalgaon 11/23/2010 It (open)}
) ( 8.Bxf7+ Qxf7 9.Qxb7 Bc5 10.O-O O-O 11.Qxa8 c6 12.Nc3 Qc7
13.Nd5 cxd5 14.exd5 Qb6 15.Be3 Ng4 16.Bxc5 Qxc5 17.b4 Qb6 18.c4
Na6 19.Qc6 Qxc6 20.dxc6 Nxb4 21.h3 Nf6 22.c7 Rc8 23.Rab1 Na6
24.Rb7 Rxc7 25.Rxc7 Nxc7 26.Rb1 a6 27.Rb7 Nfe8 28.f3 Kf7 29.Kf2
Ke7 30.Ke3 Kd7 31.Rb2 Kc6 32.Kd3 Ne6 33.Rc2 Nd6 34.Rb2 Nc5+ 35.Ke2
Nxc4 36.Rb8 Kd5 37.Rd8+ Nd6 38.Rg8 Nf5 39.g4 Nd4+ 40.Ke3 Nde6
41.h4 h6 42.Rb8 Kc4 43.Rb6 Nf4 44.Kf2 a5 45.Rb8 Ncd3+ 46.Kg3
Kd4 47.Ra8 Ke3 48.Rxa5 Ne2+ 49.Kg2 Ne1+ 50.Kf1 Nxf3 51.Ra3+ Kf4
52.Kxe2 Nxh4 53.Ra4+ Kg3 54.Rb4 Ng6 55.Rb7 Nf4+ 56.Ke3 Nd5+ 57.Kd3
Kxg4 58.Rxg7+ Kf5 59.a4 e4+ 60.Kd4 Nb4 61.Rf7+ Ke6 62.Rh7 Kf5
63.Rxh6 Nc2+ 64.Kc3 Ne3 65.a5 Kf4 66.a6 Ng4 67.Rh4 e3 68.Kd3
{1-0, Moeller Stefan – Hertel-Mach Frank, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern 12/11/2005 Landesliga 2005/06}
) c6 {Now the black queen defends her pawn on b7. Additionally, the pawn on c6 guards
d5 and b5 from being accessed by Morphy’s knight, bishop or queen.
Unfortunately, it is also another slow pawn move for black which gives Morphy
an opportunity to add to his lead in development.} 9.Bg5 {
Momentarily stopped on the queenside, Morphy deploys another piece. Now he has
four pieces in the game versus a pinned knight and an oddly placed queen.}
b5 {?} {This is overly ambitious. Even players well below Morphy’s level would not
hesitate to sacrifice the knight for two pawns and the check.}
( 9…Na6 {Is an improvement over the move the Duke and the Count played.}
10.Bxa6 bxa6 11.O-O Qb4 {Black has prospects to enter a difficult endgame against white.}
) {%09DB} 10.Nxb5 {Of course Paul Morphy does not retreat his bishop.} {%09DB}
cxb5 11.Bxb5+ {The Queen could also capture on b5 with check but why use a $9 piece to do the work of a $3 piece?}
Nbd7 {The Duke and the Count must block with the knight as stepping into the open file with the king would be suicide.}
( 11…Kd8 12.O-O-O+ Kc8 13.Rd3 ) 12.O-O-O {Castling queenside adds the rook’s power to the pinned knight on d7.} {%08DA}
Rd8 {The Duke and Count place the rook on d8 because Knight on f6 and Queen on e7
are not really defending d7. Black’s King is in full turtle mode.}
13.Rxd7 {!} {Paul Morphy fires the cannon for the first time!}
Rxd7 {The only logical response.} 14.Rd1 {Paul Morphy takes advantage of the fact that Black’s rook on d7 is pinned and reloads the cannon.} {%08DA}
Qe6 {This move does a lot of good things for black. First, it threatens to trade
queens and thus take the heat off of the black king. Second, it unpins the
knight on f6 while still having the queen defend the rook on d7. Thirdly, it
creates a roadway for the bishop on f8 and thus gives the black king an escape
rout by castling. Unfortunately for the Duke and the Count, it does not work.}
15.Bxd7+ {!} {The start of a beautiful combination.} Nxd7 {%08DA}
16.Qb8+ {!!} {The shot heard round the world.} Nxb8 17.Rd8# {Paul Morphy only has the bishop and the rook but in the end, that was all that he needed.}
1-0

 

 

My Favorite #Chess Games: The Peruvian Immortal

June 10, 2018

imb_1cn4ix

 

“In 13 moves, Canal sacrifices both Rooks and his Queen—and then mates on his 14th move! … A man might play a million games of chess and never duplicate Canal’s feat.”- Irving Chernev

 

Esteban-Canal

Esteban Canal at the Chessboard in 1936

[Event “** Simultaneous”]

[Site “Budapest HUN”]

[Date “1934.??.??”]

[Round “?”]

[White “Esteban Canal”]

[WhiteElo “?”]

[Black “NN”]

[BlackElo “?”]

[Result “1-0”]

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 c6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bf4 e6 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Bb4

9.Be2 Nd7 10.a3 O-O-O {??} 11.axb4 {!!} Qxa1+ 12.Kd2 {!} Qxh1 13.Qxc6+ {!} bxc6 14.Ba6#

1-0

Don’t Bring Your Queen Out Too Early

June 8, 2018

Here is a game I played last week against a new student that clearly illustrates the dangers of bringing the queen out too early. I gave my young opponent a three move start with the white pieces and he played 1. e4, 2. Bc4 and 3. Qh5. After blocking the attempted Scholars Mate, I develop easily while chasing his queen around the board. Subsequently, the queen ends up trapped after being moved six times in the opening.

imb_rqe9xn-3

 

Kevin Pan is Brilliant at 2018 USCF Elementary Championships

May 19, 2018

Round 7: Drew Justice vs. Kevin Pan

It is always my great pleasure to share the stories and achievements of California’s most outstanding young chess talents. Below is a remarkably brilliant game played by Mission San Jose Elementary School’s own Kevin Pan in route to a National Championship title both for Kevin and the MSJE Chess Team.

[Event “USCF National Elementary Championships”]
[Site “Nashville, TN”]
[Date “2018.5.13”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Pan, Kevin”]
[Black “Justice, Drew”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “B18”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ CARO-KANN,B18]}

1.e4 c6

2.d4 d5

3.Nc3 dxe4

4.Nxe4 Bf5

5.Ng3 Bg6

6.N1e2 {Kevin avoids the old stodgy 6. h4 line in favor of creating early complications for Drew. Mikhail Tal would be pleased…}

Pan-Justice1

Position after 6. N1e2

6… e6

7.Nf4 Bd6

8.Ngh5 {“Genius is initiative on fire!”-Holbrook Jackson}

( 8.c3 Qh4 9.Ngh5 Bxh5 10.Qxh5 Qxh5 11.Nxh5 g6 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4
Nf6 14.Nd3 Nbd7 15.g3 O-O 16.Bg2 Rfc8 17.a4 a5 18.Kd2 Kf8 19.Rhb1
Nb6 20.Nc5 Rc7 21.b4 Nfd5 22.bxa5 Nc4+ 23.Kd3 Nxa5 24.c4 Ne7
25.Bh3 Kg8 {1/2-1/2, Polgar Judit (HUN) 2665 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2795 , Haifa 1998 It (active)})

Pan-Justice2

Position after 8. Ngh5

8… Bxf4 {8…Bxh5 and Kf8 seem less tricky from black’s persepective.}

( 8…Bxh5 9.Nxh5 g6 10.Ng3 Nf6 11.Bc4 Nbd7 12.c3 Bf8 13.O-O
Bg7 14.Re1 O-O 15.Bg5 h6 16.Bf4 Nd5 17.Bd6 Re8 18.Bb3 Bf8 19.Ne4
N5f6 20.Bxf8 Rxf8 21.Qf3 Nxe4 22.Rxe4 Nf6 23.Re5 Kg7 24.Rae1
Nd5 25.g3 Qf6 26.Qg4 Rh8 27.h4 h5 28.Qe4 {…0-1, Guido Flavio (ITA) 2405 – Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2554 , Schwarzach 8/25/2012 It (open)})

( 8…Kf8 9.c3 Nd7 10.Qf3 Ngf6 11.Nxf6 Qxf6 12.Be2 Bc2 13.Qg4
Bf5 14.Qf3 Re8 15.Nh5 Qg6 16.Ng3 Bc2 17.Qg4 Qxg4 18.Bxg4 Nf6
19.Bd1 Bxd1 20.Kxd1 h5 21.f3 h4 22.Ne2 e5 23.h3 exd4 24.Nxd4
c5 25.Nf5 Bc7 26.Re1 Rd8+ 27.Kc2 Nh5 28.Ne3 {…0-1, Vydeslaver Alik (ISR) 2404 – Shengelia Davit (AUT) 2569 , Barcelona 8/29/2007 It (open)})

9.Nxf4 Ne7

( 9…Nf6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Be2 Nbd7 12.c3 Qc7 13.g3
c5 14.O-O Rd8 15.dxc5 Nxc5 16.Qc2 O-O 17.Be3 Nd5 18.Bd4 e5 19.Bxc5
Qxc5 20.Bf3 f5 21.Bxd5+ Rxd5 22.Qb3 Rfd8 23.Qxb7 e4 24.b4 Qc4
25.Qxa7 f4 26.gxf4 Rd3 27.Qc5 Qe6 28.Qg5 R8d5 29.Qg2 {…1-0, Finkel Alexander (ISR) 2455 – Adianto Utut (INA) 2610 , Bastia 1998 It (open) (active)})

10.h4 {Kevin will not stop applying pressure.}

( 10.c3 Qc7 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.g3 c5 13.Bb5+ Nbc6 14.dxc5 Qe5+ 15.Be3 Nf5 16.Qf3
Nxe3 17.Bxc6+ Ke7 18.Bxb7 Nc4+ 19.Qe4 Rab8 20.Qxe5 Nxe5 21.c6
Nd3+ 22.Ke2 Nxb2 23.Rab1 Na4 24.c7 {1-0, Karpatchev Aleksandr (RUS) 2469 – Berg Peter (DEN) 2017 , Esbjerg 7/13/2007 Cup North Sea (open)})

10… h6

11.Nxg6 {And these two extremely talented combatants are discovering new territory in an old opening.}

11… Nxg6

12.h5 {In these kinds of positions you might as well push the pawn forward one more square to force the black knight to retreat.}

Pan-Justice3

Position after 12. h5

12… Ne7

13.Qg4 {Which in turn allows the queen to develop with threats.}

13… Nf5 {Black’s knight must provide protection to g7.}

14.Bd3 {Unfortunately for Drew Justice, the knight on f5 is also an easy target.}

14… Qxd4 {?} {Kevin Pan’s constant pressure finally causes Drew Justice to crack. 14…Nd7 and 14…0-0 are much better choices for black.}
( 14…Nd7 15.Bxf5 Qa5+ 16.c3 Qxf5 17.Qxg7 O-O-O )
( 14…O-O 15.c3 Nd7 )

Pan-Justice4

Position after 14… Qxd4?

15.Bxf5 {!} {Kevin spots the tactical punishment for Drew’s inaccuracy.}

15… Qe5+

16.Be4 f5

17.Qg6+ {Scissors beat paper and checks beat fork.}

17… Ke7

18.Be3 Nd7

19.O-O-O fxe4 {?}

( 19…Rag8 )

Pan-Justice5

Position after 19… fxe4?

20.Rxd7+{!} {It’s moves like these that win national championships!}

20… Kxd7

21.Qf7+ Kc8

22.Bf4 {Black resigns and Kevin Pan is a National Champion!}
1-0

Pan-Justice6

Position after 22. Bf4

 

 

Game pgn:

[Event “USCF National Elementary Championships”]
[Site “Nashville, TN”]
[Date “2018.5.13”]
[Round “7”]
[White “Pan, Kevin”]
[Black “Justice, Drew”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “B18”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ CARO-KANN,B18]} 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3
Bg6 6.N1e2 {Kevin avoids the old stodgy 6. h4 line in favor of creating early complications for Drew. Mikhail Tal would be pleased…} {%08DA}
e6 7.Nf4 Bd6 8.Ngh5 {“Genius is initiative on fire!”-Holbrook Jackson}
( 8.c3 Qh4 9.Ngh5 Bxh5 10.Qxh5 Qxh5 11.Nxh5 g6 12.Bf4 Bxf4 13.Nxf4
Nf6 14.Nd3 Nbd7 15.g3 O-O 16.Bg2 Rfc8 17.a4 a5 18.Kd2 Kf8 19.Rhb1
Nb6 20.Nc5 Rc7 21.b4 Nfd5 22.bxa5 Nc4+ 23.Kd3 Nxa5 24.c4 Ne7
25.Bh3 Kg8 {1/2-1/2, Polgar Judit (HUN) 2665 – Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2795 , Haifa 1998 It (active)}
) {%09DB} Bxf4 {8…Bxh5 and Kf8 seem less tricky from black’s persepective.} {%09DB}
( 8…Bxh5 9.Nxh5 g6 10.Ng3 Nf6 11.Bc4 Nbd7 12.c3 Bf8 13.O-O
Bg7 14.Re1 O-O 15.Bg5 h6 16.Bf4 Nd5 17.Bd6 Re8 18.Bb3 Bf8 19.Ne4
N5f6 20.Bxf8 Rxf8 21.Qf3 Nxe4 22.Rxe4 Nf6 23.Re5 Kg7 24.Rae1
Nd5 25.g3 Qf6 26.Qg4 Rh8 27.h4 h5 28.Qe4 {…0-1, Guido Flavio (ITA) 2405 – Zelcic Robert (CRO) 2554 , Schwarzach 8/25/2012 It (open)}
) ( 8…Kf8 9.c3 Nd7 10.Qf3 Ngf6 11.Nxf6 Qxf6 12.Be2 Bc2 13.Qg4
Bf5 14.Qf3 Re8 15.Nh5 Qg6 16.Ng3 Bc2 17.Qg4 Qxg4 18.Bxg4 Nf6
19.Bd1 Bxd1 20.Kxd1 h5 21.f3 h4 22.Ne2 e5 23.h3 exd4 24.Nxd4
c5 25.Nf5 Bc7 26.Re1 Rd8+ 27.Kc2 Nh5 28.Ne3 {…0-1, Vydeslaver Alik (ISR) 2404 – Shengelia Davit (AUT) 2569 , Barcelona 8/29/2007 It (open)}
) 9.Nxf4 Ne7 ( 9…Nf6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Be2 Nbd7 12.c3 Qc7 13.g3
c5 14.O-O Rd8 15.dxc5 Nxc5 16.Qc2 O-O 17.Be3 Nd5 18.Bd4 e5 19.Bxc5
Qxc5 20.Bf3 f5 21.Bxd5+ Rxd5 22.Qb3 Rfd8 23.Qxb7 e4 24.b4 Qc4
25.Qxa7 f4 26.gxf4 Rd3 27.Qc5 Qe6 28.Qg5 R8d5 29.Qg2 {…1-0, Finkel Alexander (ISR) 2455 – Adianto Utut (INA) 2610 , Bastia 1998 It (open) (active)}
) 10.h4 {Kevin will not stop applying pressure.} ( 10.c3 Qc7
11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.g3 c5 13.Bb5+ Nbc6 14.dxc5 Qe5+ 15.Be3 Nf5 16.Qf3
Nxe3 17.Bxc6+ Ke7 18.Bxb7 Nc4+ 19.Qe4 Rab8 20.Qxe5 Nxe5 21.c6
Nd3+ 22.Ke2 Nxb2 23.Rab1 Na4 24.c7 {1-0, Karpatchev Aleksandr (RUS) 2469 – Berg Peter (DEN) 2017 , Esbjerg 7/13/2007 Cup North Sea (open)}
) h6 11.Nxg6 {And these two exteremely talented combatants are discovering new territory in an old opening.}
Nxg6 12.h5 {In these kinds of positions you might as well push the pawn forward one more square to force the black knight to retreat.} {%08DA}
Ne7 13.Qg4 {Which in turn allows the queen to develop with threats.}
Nf5 {Black’s knight must provide prtotection to g7.} 14.Bd3 {Unfortunately for Drew Justice, the knight on f5 is also an easy target.}
Qxd4 {?} {Kevin Pan’s constant pressure finally causes Drew Justice to crack. 14…Nd7 and 14…0-0 are much better choices for black.}
( 14…Nd7 15.Bxf5 Qa5+ 16.c3 Qxf5 17.Qxg7 O-O-O )
( 14…O-O 15.c3 Nd7 ) {%09DB} 15.Bxf5 {!} {Kevin spots the tactical punishment for Drew’s inaccuracy.} {%09DB}
Qe5+ 16.Be4 f5 17.Qg6+ {Scissors beat paper and checks beat fork.}
Ke7 18.Be3 Nd7 19.O-O-O fxe4 {?} ( 19…Rag8 ) {%09DB} 20.Rxd7+
{!} {It’s moves like these that win national championships!} {%09DB}
Kxd7 21.Qf7+ Kc8 22.Bf4 {Black resigns and Kevin Pan is a National Champion!}
1-0

#Chess Lesson of the Week: Fabiano Caruana vs. Robert Hess II (Argentina, 2001)

April 1, 2018

Big Thanks to Robert Hess for allowing me to share his Facebook post on this blog!

 

After seeing Robert Hess II’s post on Facebook, I became curious about his chess adventures with Fabiano Caruana in Argentina. After a quick search of my database, I found this superb chess game played by the two young chess prodigies. Below is the lesson from the game that I have prepared for my students this week.

[Event “Ch Pan-American”]
[Site “Guaymallen (Argentina)”]
[Date “2001”]
[Round “8”]
[White “Caruana, Fabiano (USA)”]
[Black “Hess, Robert L (USA)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C57”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]
[Source “”]

{[ TWO KNIGHTS’ def.,C57] Caruana Fabiano +1 =0 -0 Hess Robert L (USA) +0 =0 -1 Caruana Fabiano-Hess Robert L (USA) +1 =0 -0}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bc4 Nf6

4.Ng5 d5

5.exd5 Nd4 {Robert Hess chooses the double-edged Fritz Variation.}

( 5…Nxd5 6.Nxf7 {The original Fried Liver Attack.} Kxf7 7.Qf3+
Ke6 8.Nc3 Nce7 9.d4 c6 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bxe7 Bxe7 12.O-O-O Rf8 13.Qe4
Rxf2 14.dxe5 Bg5+ 15.Kb1 Rd2 16.h4 Rxd1+ 17.Rxd1 Bxh4 18.Nxd5
cxd5 19.Rxd5 Qg5 20.Rd6+ Ke7 21.Rg6 {1-0, Polerio G – Dominiko V, Rome 1602})

Fabi-Hess1

Position after 5… Nd4

6.c3 b5

7.cxd4 {Another American chess prodigy preferred 7. Bf1 which is the main line.}

( 7.Bf1 Nxd5 8.cxd4 Qxg5 9.Bxb5+ Kd8 10.Qf3 e4 11.Qxe4 Bd6 12.O-O
Bb7 13.d3 Nf4 14.Bxf4 Qxb5 15.d5 Qxb2 16.Bxd6 cxd6 17.Re1 Qf6
18.Nc3 Rc8 19.Qb4 Re8 20.Qa5+ Kd7 21.Qa4+ {1-0, Fischer Robert J (USA) 2780 – NN (ITA), Montreal 1964 Simultan})

Fabi-Hess2

Position after 7. cxd4

7… bxc4

8.dxe5 Qxd5

9.exf6

( 9.O-O Bb7 10.Nf3 Nd7 11.Re1 O-O-O 12.Nc3 Qd3 13.Re3 Qg6 14.d4 cxd3 15.Rxd3 Bc5
16.Nd5 Qe4 17.Bg5 f6 18.exf6 gxf6 19.Be3 Rhg8 20.Ne1 Ne5 21.Bxc5
Bxd5 22.Rg3 Rxg3 23.hxg3 Bb7 24.Qb3 Nd3 25.Qc2 Nxc5 26.Qxc5 Re8
27.Nf3 Qc6 28.Qxa7 Qc2 {…1-0, Bollek Jan – Godena Michele (ITA) 2527 , Caorle 1982 It (open)})

( 9.Nf3 {?!} {Seems to favor black.} Qe4+ 10.Qe2
( 10.Kf1 Qd3+ 11.Kg1 Nd7 ) Qxe2+ 11.Kxe2 Nd5 )

Fabi-Hess3

Position after 9. exf6

9… Qxg5

10.Qe2+

( 10.Qf3 Rb8 11.O-O Qxf6 12.Re1+ Be7 13.Qxf6 gxf6 14.b3
cxb3 15.axb3 Rxb3 16.Ba3 Be6 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 18.f4 Kd7 19.Rxa7 Rb2
20.Rc1 Kd6 21.Nc3 f5 22.d4 c6 23.Ra6 Rc8 24.Ra5 Rd2 25.Ra6 Ke7
26.Ra4 Rd8 27.Ra7+ Kf6 28.Ra6 R8xd4 29.g3 Rc4 30.Ra3 Kg6 31.Raa1
Rb4 32.Rd1 Rc2 33.Rac1 Rbb2 34.Rxc2 Rxc2 35.Rd3 Kf6 36.h3 Ke7
37.Nd1 c5 38.Rc3 Rxc3 39.Nxc3 c4 40.Kf2 Kd6 41.Ke3 Kc5 42.Ne2
h5 43.Nc3 Kb4 44.Kd2 Kc5 45.Ke3 Bd5 46.Ne2 Bg2 47.h4 Kb4 48.Kd2
Bf1 49.Nc3 Bd3 50.Nd1 Kc5 51.Ke3 Bc2 52.Nc3 Bd3 53.Nd1 Kb4 54.Kd2
Kb3 55.Nc3 Be4 56.Ne2 Kb4 57.Nc3 Kc5 58.Ke3 Bc2 59.Ne2 Bd3 60.Nc3
Kb4 61.Kd2 Kb3 62.Nd1 Be4 63.Nc3 Bf3 64.Nb1 Kb2 65.Nc3 Kb3 66.Nb1
Kb4 67.Nc3 Bg4 68.Nb1 Kc5 69.Ke3 {1/2-1/2, Paramzina Anastasya (RUS) 1830 – Sunyasakta Satpathy (IND) 1899, Porto Carras (Greece) 2010.10.24})

10… Be6

11.Qe4 Rb8

12.O-O Qxf6 {Fabiano Caruana and Robert Hess are dead even in a position with some serious imbalances.}

Fabi-Hess4

Position after 12… Qxf6

13.Qc6+ {Fabiano takes away black’s ability to castle.}

13… Kd8 {Robert Hess has an exposed king but much better development.}

14.Nc3 Bd6

15.g3 {?!} {Fearing black’s tactics on h2, Caruana plays g3 which is dangerously slow in such a sharp position. Better was:}
( 15.Ne4 Qd4 16.Nxd6 Qxd6 17.Qe4 {Which forces black to exchange his dangerous dark bishop.})

15… h5 {!} {Robert Hess launches his h-pawn toward the newly created weakness and in doing so activates his final piece.}

Fabi-Hess5

Position after 15… h5

16.h4 {Fabiano’s best defense creates even more weak squares around his king.}
( 16.Ne4 {??} {No longer works.} Qf3 {!} 17.h4 Bh3 )

16… Qd4 {Threatening Bxg3.}

17.Qe4 {Fabiano’s strongest move which leaves Robert Hess with a complicated choice as to how to continue his attack.}

17… Qf6 {?!} {Placing the queen on the same diagonal as his king was not the best choice. Better was:} ( 17…Bc5 18.d3 {I’m sure Fabiano would’ve been willing to temporarily lose some material to obtain must needed development.}
cxd3 19.Bf4 Rxb2 20.Be5 Qxe4 21.Nxe4 Rc2 22.Bxg7 Rg8 23.Nxc5
Rxc5 24.Bh6 Bg4 {and it’s black who is playing for a win.} )

Fabi-Hess6

Position after 17… Qf6

18.d3 {!} {Fabiano takes the initiative by threatening to play Bg5!}

18… Qe5

19.dxc4 Qxe4

20.Nxe4 Bxc4 {?}

{Hess wins a pawn and attacks Caruana’s rook. However, Caruana can respond by
playing Nxd6! which threatens Nxf7+ forking Hess’ king and rook. An improvement
for black would have been playing 20… Be5 which creates a threat and preserves the bishop pair for the ensuing endgame.}
( 20…Be5 21.Rb1 ( 21.Re1 Re8 22.Rb1 Bxc4 ) Bxc4 )

Fabi-Hess7

Position after 20… Bxc4

21.Nxd6 {!} {Removing the bishop pair and threatening Nxf7+.}

21… cxd6

22.Rd1 {Fabiano develops his rook with a threat.}

22… Kc7 {?}

{Chess can be so brutal. Had Hess played his king to the adjacent square the result of the game would have been much different.}
( 22…Kd7 23.Bf4 Rb6 24.Rd2 Be6 25.Rc1 Ra8 {and black is fine.} )

Fabi-Hess8

Position after 22… Kc7

23.Bf4 {!}

{Developing the bishop to a diagonal that threatens a pawn with a pin to the king and the king with a skewer to the rook.}

23… Rhd8 {?} {Robert Hess tries in vain to hold onto the pawn. Better was abandoning it.}
( 23…Kb7 24.Bxd6 Rbc8 {and black still has trouble, though not nearly as severe.})

24.Rac1 {!} {All of Fabiano’s remaining pieces entered the game in the most brutal fashion.}

Fabi-Hess9

Position after 24. Rac1

24… Rxb2 {Hess might as well take a pawn as there is no way to defend his pinned bishop.}
( 24…Rb4 25.b3 Kb7 26.Rd4 {!} Rd7 27.Bd2 {!} Rb6 28.Rcxc4 )
25.Rxc4+ Kb7

26.Rxd6 Re8

27.Rd7+ Ka6

28.Rcc7 Ree2 {Even with a 99.9% chance of defeat, Robert Hess still manages to create one more threat.}

29.Rxa7+ Kb6

30.Rdb7+ Kc6

31.Rxb2 Rxb2

Fabi-Hess10

Final Position

{Black resigns. Truly a superb chess game played by two incredible young prodigies!}
1-0

 

The Fried Morra Attack

July 27, 2017

“Fried Morra” was served at our Southern California Summer Chess Camp!

 

Sometimes in chess themes from one opening can directly apply to another seemingly unrelated system. Below is a game in which I tried to play a Smith-Morra Gambit but after black plays an early e5 the game takes on a Fried Liver flavor. Caution should be used when blending these two spicy openings together as the resulting dish can be quite overpowering.

 

[Event “Summer Chess Camp”]
[Site “Glendale, California”]
[Date “2017.7.4”]
[Round “”]
[White “Chris Torres”]
[Black “Student”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “B32”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ SICILIAN def. Fried Morra var.]}

1.e4 c5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.d4 cxd4

4.c3 {I do not recapture but instead steer the game into Smith-Morra Gambit territory(1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nf3.)}

FriedMorra

Position after 4. c3.

4… e5 {?!} {My opponent declines capturing on c3 and thus my invitation to the Smith-Morra.}

5.Bc4 {With black’s pawn on e5 instead of e6 I am free to target the belly Button(f7) with my bishop.}

5… Nf6

6.Ng5 {I seize the opportunity to play a Fried Liver style attack.}

FriedMorra2

Position after 6. Ng5.

6… d5 {As in the Fried Liver Attack, black can not block the knight’s attack on f7 but can block the bishop with d5.}

7.exd5 Nxd5 {Black’s most solid choice is 7… Na5 and that also holds true at this junction in the Fried Liver.}

8.Nxf7! {Exposing black’s king and creating a new target out of the pinned knight on d5. }

FriedMorra3

Position after 8. Nxf7.

8… Kxf7

9.Qf3+ Ke6

10.O-O  Nce7 {?} {Either 10… Na5 or Be7 would have been better for black.}

( 10…Na5 11.Bd3 Nf6 12.cxd4 Qxd4 13.Nc3 Bd7 14.Bf5+ Kf7 15.Rd1 Bc6 16.Rxd4 Bxf3 17.Ra4 Nc6 18.gxf3 Nd4 19.Be4 Nxe4 20.fxe4 Bc5 21.Be3 Nc2 22.Rd1 Nxe3 23.fxe3 Bxe3+ 24.Kg2 Rhd8 25.Rc4 Bb6 26.Rxd8 Rxd8 27.Nd5 Rd7 28.b4 Bd4 29.a4
a6 30.b5 {…0-1, Vysochin Spartak (UKR) 2520 – Munoz Pantoja Miguel (PER) 2480 , Internet 4/ 4/2008 Dos Hermanas Internet Final})

( 10…Be7 11.cxd4 Nxd4 12.Qe4 b5 13.Re1 bxc4 14.Qxd4 Bf6 15.Qxc4
Qc7 16.Qd3 Bb7 17.Na3 Kf7 18.Bd2 Rad8 19.Rac1 Qd7 20.Qb3 Rhe8
21.Nb5 Re6 22.Ba5 Rc8 23.Rxc8 Qxc8 24.Bb4 Nxb4 25.Qxb4 Be7 26.Qb3
Qc5 27.h3 Bd5 28.Qd3 Bc4 29.Qf3+ Rf6 30.Qh5+ {…0-1, Fomina Tatyana (EST) 2214 – Azarova Nadezhda (BLR) 2308 , Beijing 10/15/2008 World Mindsports Games (Active Team w)})

FriedMorra4

Position after 10… Nce7?

11.Re1 {I would have also been doing well had I played 11. cxd4.}

( 11.cxd4 Kd7 ( 11…exd4 12.Rd1 b5 13.Bb3 Bb7 14.Rxd4 Nf5 15.Rd3 Bb4 16.g4 Nfe7 17.Bg5 ) 12.dxe5 Ke8 13.Bg5 )

11… Kd6

12.cxd4 exd4

13.Bf4+ {?} {Missing the correct square for the bishop by just one square has the potential to throw away all of white’s advantage.}

( 13.Bg5! h6 14.Rxe7 Nxe7 15.Qa3+ Kd7 16.Qa4+ Nc6 17.Bxd8 )

FriedMorra8

Position after 13. Bf4+?

13… Kc5 {??} {Deep Blue would have played 13…Nxf4 and been fine.}

( 13…Nxf4 14.Qxf4+ Kc6 15.Nc3 a6 16.Rad1 Qd6 17.Qe4+ Kb6 18.Rxd4 Qh6 )

FriedMorra5

Position after 13… Kc5??

14.Rc1 {I missed playing 14. Qa3+ which is objectively best as it is the first step in a mate in 9.}

( 14.Qa3+ Nb4 15.Re5+ Ned5 16.Rxd5+ Qxd5 17.Qa5+ Kxc4 18.Nd2+
Kd3 19.Qa3+ Kc2 20.Nf3 Nd3 21.Ne1+ Nxe1 22.Rc1# )

14… Nxf4

15.Bf7+ {!} {My choice for the best move of the game is this beautiful discovered check which places black’s king immediately into his death march.}

FriedMorra6

Position after 15. Bf7+.

15…Kb6

16.Qb3+ Ka5

17.Rc5+ b5

18.Qxb5# 1-0

FriedMorra7

Position after 18. Qxb5#

Hidden Gems Abound at the 2016 Chess Olympiads

September 4, 2016

One of my favorite hobbies is treasure hunting for beautifully instructive chess games during the annual Chess Olympiads. With more than 180 countries each sending their best male and female teams to compete in one event, the Chess Olympiads is a veritable mother load of chess gems. For hunting these chess treasures, I follow along at:

The official site for the 2016 FIDE Chess Olympiads

http://www1.bakuchessolympiad.com//

 

 

Chess Daily News

https://chessdailynews.com

 

ChessGames.com

http://www.chessgames.com/index.html

 

FM Qiu Zhou of Canada

FM Qiyu Zhou of Canada

And to illustrate just the kind of hidden gems I am talking about, I present Sindira Joshi (Nepal) vs. Qiyu Zhou (Canada) from round 1 of the 2016 FIDE Chess Olympiads. Enjoy…

[Event “Chess Olympiad”]
[Site “Baku, Azerbaijan”]
[Date “2016.9.2”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Joshi, Sindira”]
[Black “Zhou, Qiyu”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Eco “C54”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ ITALIAN GAME & HUNGARIAN def.,C54]}

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.d4 {The start to the Scotch.}

3… exd4

4.Bc4 Bc5

5.c3 {Transposing to a Giuoco Piano.}

5… Nf6

6.cxd4 Bb4+

7.Bd2 {White could have also chosen the equally popular Moeller Attack by playing Nc3 and gambitting the e-pawn.}

( 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.O-O Bxc3 9.d5 Bf6 10.Re1 O-O 11.Rxe4 Ne7 12.d6
cxd6 13.Qxd6 Nf5 14.Qd5 d6 15.Bg5 Bxg5 16.Nxg5 Qxg5 17.Qxf7+
{1-0, Euwe Max (NED) – Van Mindeno A, Netherlands 1927 It “AVRO”} )

 

Position after 7. Bd2

Position after 7. Bd2

 

7… Nxe4

8.Bxb4 Nxb4

9.Bxf7+ Kxf7

10.Qb3+ d5 {Discovered by Gioachino Greco, this line is a mere 400 years old.}

 

Position after 10... d5

Position after 10… d5

 

11.Qxb4 {Greco preffered Ne5+ here.}

11… Rf8

12.Nc3 {So far so good for the much lower rated Sindira Joshi. Her chances are about equal here.}
( 12.O-O Ng5 13.Ne5+ Kg8 14.Nc3 c6 15.f4 Nf7 16.Ne2 Nd6 17.Ng3
a5 18.Qa3 a4 19.Qb4 a3 20.bxa3 Nb5 21.a4 Qd6 22.Rab1 Qxb4 23.Rxb4
Nc3 24.Rb3 Nxa4 25.Ne2 Ra6 26.g3 Nb6 27.Nc3 Na4 28.Ne2 Nb6 29.Nc3
Nc4 30.Nxc4 dxc4 31.Rb4 b5 {…1/2-1/2, Schaefer Markus (GER) 2390 – Postny Evgeny (ISR) 2595 , Plovdiv 10/19/2010 Cup European Club})

12… Nxc3 13.bxc3 {?} {A slight innacuracy. Better was Qxc3 as seen in this game:}

( 13.Qxc3 Kg8 14.O-O Qd6 15.Ne5 Bf5 16.Rae1 Rae8 17.Re3 Re6 18.Rfe1
Ref6 19.b4 {1/2-1/2, Danilenko Dmitriy (UKR) 1992 – Pavlov Maxim (UKR) 2327 , Alushta 5/18/2006 Ch Ukraine (1/2 final)})

13… Kg8

14.Ne5 {?} {Another harmless looking mistake. Much better was h4 to prevent Qg5.}

 

Position after 14. Ne5

Position after 14. Ne5

 

14… Qg5 {Here comes trouble.}

15.g3 {?} {As dangerous as it looks, castling is to be preferred here.}

15… Rxf2 {!} {Qiyu Zhou starts her combination with a beautiful rook sacrifice.}

 

Position after 15.... Rxf2

Position after 15…. Rxf2

 

16.Kxf2 Qd2+

17.Kf3 Bh3 {Qiyu Zhou is putting on a tactical clinic.}

 

Position after 15... Bh3

Position after 15… Bh3

 

18.Rad1 {Sindira Joshi seems to be playing the most accurate responses but Qiyu Zhou continues to press her advantage.}

18… Bg2+

19.Kg4 Qe2+

20.Kh4 Bxh1 {Not just to win the exchange but also to set up a vicious fork.}

 

Position after 20... Bxh1

Position after 20… Bxh1

 

21.Rxh1 Qe4+ {and now Sindira Joshi’s only chance is to hope for a rare blunder from Qiyu Zhou.}

22.Kh3 Qxh1 {Qiyu Zhou concludes the prefectly executed 8 move combination.}

23.Qe7 {Sindira Joshi finally has a choice but it is to pick her own poison.}

( 23.Qxb7 Rf8 24.Qxc7 Qf1+ 25.Kh4 Qf6+ 26.Kh3 Qf5+ 27.g4 Qf1+
28.Kg3 Qf4+ 29.Kg2 g5 {seems very unpleasant for white.} ) {%09DB}

23… Qf1+ {Qiyu Zhou grabs the initiative again.}

 

Position after 23... Qf1+

Position after 23… Qf1+

 

24.Kh4 Qf6+ {Qiyu Zhou wisely choses to force an exchange of queens and head into a rook vs. knight endgame.}

25.Qxf6 gxf6

26.Nd7 Kf7

27.Nc5 b6

28.Nd3 Re8

29.Nf4 {Hats off to Sindira Joshi for continueing to play on and give us a chance to study good endgame technique.}

 

Position after 29. Nf4

Position after 29. Nf4

 

29… c6

30.Kg4 Re3

31.Kf5 {Nothing can be done to save white’s queenside pawns from a Qiyu Zhou’s rampaging rook.}

31… Rxc3

32.Nh5 Rc2

33.h4 Rxa2

34.Kf4 a5

35.Ke3 b5

36.Nf4 a4

37.Nd3 a3

38.Nb4 Rb2 {Sindira Joshi resigns as there is no hope left for white.} 0-1

 

Final Position

Final Position

Carlsen vs Anand World Chess Championship 2014: Game 11 Analysis

December 15, 2014

Timing is critical whether you are playing in a poker tournament at your kitchen table or in the World Chess Championship match. Often times, chess players wait until they are too far behind to play ambitiously enough to win the game.  In game 11 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match, Viswanathan Anand decided to “go for it” on move 27. Down a point with only one more game to go, Vishy took a calculated gamble on move 27 and unfortunately followed it up with an inaccuracy on move 28. Magnus Carlsen steered through the remaining pitfalls in the position with ease and emerged victorious in the game and match.

 

Norway's Magnus Carlsen shows his trophy at the award ceremony of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match  in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014.   Magnus Carlsen won against India's former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, left. At right is FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. AP/PTI(AP11_26_2014_000006A)

Norway’s Magnus Carlsen shows his trophy at the award ceremony of the FIDE World Chess Championship Match in Sochi, Russia, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014. Magnus Carlsen won against India’s former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, left. At right is FIDE president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov. AP/PTI(AP11_26_2014_000006A)

Below are my thoughts on game 11 of the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match. It has been my goal during this match to break down the though processes of Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand to a level where it is accessible to the school age chess stars and weekend chess warriors. I hope you have enjoyed the effort.
[Event “FIDE World Chess Chamopionship 2014”]
[Site “Sochi, Russia”]
[Date “2014.11.23”]
[Round “11”]
[White “Carlsen, Magnus (NOR)”]
[Black “Anand, Viswanathan (IND)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Eco “C67”]
[Annotator “Chris Torres”]

{[ RUY LOPEZ. BERLIN def.,C67]}

1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 Nc6
3.Bb5 Nf6
4.O-O {For 4. d3, see Game 2 from the Carlsen-Anand World Championship Match of 2014 or Game 6 and Game 7 from their 2013 World Championship Match.}
4… Nxe4
5.d4 Nd6 {5… Be7 was Lasker’s favorite:
5… Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7 9.Nd4 O-O 10.Nc3 Nc5 11.Re1 Ne6
12.Nf5 f6 13.Nxe7+ Qxe7 14.exf6 Qxf6 15.Ne4 Qg6 16.c3 d6 17.Ng3 Bd7 18.Be3 Rae8
19.Qc4 Kh8 20.Rad1 c5 21.Qh4 Bc6 22.Qb4 {1/2-1/2, Mason, James (ENG) Lasker, Emanuel (GER), London 1892 Match)}
6.Bxc6 dxc6 {It is best for black to take back with the queen’diagonals’s pawn to open up lines for his pieces.}
7.dxe5 Nf5
8.Qxd8+ Kxd8
9.h3 {Of course, Nc3 is also very playable as demonstrated by Tal:
{( 9.Nc3 Ke8 10.Ne2 Be7 11.Re1 Nh4 12.Ng5 Ng6 13.Ng3 h6 14.Nf3 c5 15.h3 h5
16.Ne4 Be6 17.Nfg5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 b6 19.Rad1 Ne7 20.Rd3 Rd8 21.Bf6 Rxd3 22.Bxg7
Rd4 23.Bxh8 h4 24.Bf6 Ng6 25.f3 Kd7 26.Kf2 Kc6 27.Ke3 Ra4 28.a3 Rd4 29.Re2 Rd1
30.Nc3 Rg1 31.Kf2 Rh1 32.Rd2 Bf5 33.Ne2 Ra1 34.Ke3 a5 35.Nf4 c4 36.Nxg6 fxg6
37.c3 Bd3 38.Bxh4 Kd5 39.Kf4 b5 40.Bd8 Kc6 41.e6 Re1 42.e7 Kd7 43.b4 {1-0, Tal, Mikhail N (LAT) 2660  Shamkovich, Leonid (USA) 2540 , Dubna 1973}
9… Bd7 {Vishy played this move in Game 4 from the Anand-Carlsen World Championship Match of 2013. For 9… Ke8, see game 7 and game 9 from the Carlsen-Anand 2014.}
10.Nc3 {In game 4 from 2013, Magnus played Rd1 here.}
10… h6
11.b3 Kc8 {Both Carlsen and Anand are playing straight out of “the book.”}
12.Bb2 c5 {Anand is choosing a rare line in order to test Carlsen’s preparations.}
13.Rad1 b6
14.Rfe1 {Magnus took a long think and played Rfe1 rather than the usual Nd5.}
( 14.Nd5 a5 15.Rd2 a4 16.Rfd1 Bc6 17.c4 axb3 18.axb3 Kb7 19.g4
Ne7 20.Kg2 Ra2 21.Kg3 b5 22.Nc3 Ra5 23.cxb5 Bxb5 24.Rc2 Bc6 25.Nd2 Ng6 26.Nc4 Ra8 27.Nd5 h5 28.Rcd2 hxg4 29.hxg4 Bb5 30.f4 Be7 31.Nxe7 Nxe7 32.f5 Rhe8 33.Na3 Bc6 {…1-0, Zhigalko Andrey (BLR) 2554 – Podolchenko Evgeniy (BLR) 2460 , Minsk 1/17/2007 Ch Belarus})
( 14.Rd3 Bc6 15.Re1 Be7 16.Nd5 Kb7 17.e6 Bxd5 18.Rxd5 Nd6 19.exf7 Bf6 20.Bxf6 gxf6 21.Re6 Nxf7 22.Rxf6 Nd6 23.Rh5 Rhe8 24.Re5 Rxe5 25.Nxe5 Ne4 26.Rxh6 Rd8 27.Nd3 c4 28.bxc4 Rd4 29.Rh4 {1-0, Carlsson Pontus (SWE) 2502 – Aboudi M (JOR) 2192 , Dubai 4/12/2011 It (open)})
14… Be6 ( 14…Ne7 15.Ne2 Ng6 16.h4 Be7 17.e6 Bxe6 18.h5 Nh4 19.Nf4 Nxf3+ 20.gxf3 Bd6 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Rxe6 Rf8 23.Bxg7 Rf5 24.Re8+ Kb7 25.Rxa8 Kxa8 26.Bxh6 Rxh5 27.Be3 Kb7 28.c4 Kc6 29.Kg2 Rh2+ 30.Kf1 Rh1+ 31.Ke2 Rxd1 32.Kxd1 Kd7 33.Bg5 Ke6 34.a4 {…1/2-1/2, Anand Viswanathan (IND) 2800 – Nakamura Hikaru (USA) 2733 , London 12/ 8/2010 It (cat.19)})
( 14…a5 15.a4 Ne7 16.Ne2 Ng6 17.h4 h5 18.g3 Be7 19.c4 Bf5
20.Nc3 Kb7 21.Nd2 c6 22.Nf1 Bg4 23.Rc1 Rad8 24.Nd1 Rhe8 25.Nde3
Rd3 26.Bc3 Bc8 27.Nd1 Nf8 28.f4 Ne6 29.Nf2 Rdd8 30.Ne4 Nd4 31.Nfd2
Bf5 32.Kf2 Rd7 33.Nf6 Bxf6 34.exf6 {…1/2-1/2, Motylev Alexander (RUS) 2710 – Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR) 2727 , Khanty Mansyisk 11/28/2009 Cup World})
15.Nd5 g5 {A rare and interesting idea developed by the Russian chess player Yuri N Vitoshinskiy. With this move, Anand is allowing Carlsen’s knight an outpost on f6 but is stopping white from mobilizing his four on three pawn majority. Allowing your opponent a knight on the sixth is usually a disastrous mistake
which is why this idea has only been tried once before.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand played 15... g5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand played 15… g5.

16.c4 {Even in the heavily analyzed Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez, our players are “out of book” by move 16!}
( 16.Nh2 Kb7 17.f4 Nd4 18.Bxd4 cxd4 19.Nf6 gxf4 20.Nf3 Bb4 21.Rf1 c5 22.Nd2 a5 23.Rxf4 a4 24.Nde4 axb3 25.axb3 Ra2 26.Rf2 Rha8 27.g4 Ra1 28.Rxa1 Rxa1+ 29.Kh2 b5 30.h4 c4 31.bxc4 bxc4 32.g5 hxg5 33.h5 Bf8 34.Nxg5 Bh6 35.Nxe6 fxe6 36.Ng8 Re1 37.Nxh6 Rxe5 38.Ng4 Rxh5+ 39.Kg3 Rd5 40.Kf4 d3 {1/2-1/2, Zhidkov – Vitoshinskiy Yuriy N (RUS) 2165, Dubna (Russia) 2001})
16… Kb7 {This is a fine place for the king in order to move closer towards giving the rooks free access to the back rank.}
17.Kh2 {Carlsen responds by moving his king out the back rank as well. I imagine Magnus is waiting to discover Anand’s intentions before commiting to a more concrete plan.}
17… a5 {Anand grabs more space for his rook and could postentially open up the file if Carlsen falls asleep behind the wheel.}
18.a4 {Magnus shuts down all the activity on the queen-side for now.}
18… Ne7 {Anand makes a nice move that adds an extra attacker to Carlsen d5 knight as well as keeps the options open as to where Anand’s knight will transfer to.}
19.g4 {Carlsen blocks Anand off on the king-side as well. For the moment, Carlsen’s rook is the only rook in an open file.}
19… Ng6 {Capturing Carlsen’s knight here would be disastrous for black:} ( 19…Nxd5 20.cxd5 Bc8 )
20.Kg3 Be7 {Finally, Anand’s rooks are unified. Both players have navigated the opening well.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20... Be7.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 20… Be7.

21.Nd2 {Magnus prepares his advance of a knight to the f6 outpost.}
21… Rhd8 {Anand places a rook into the open file as well.}
22.Ne4 Bf8 {Anand gives his bishop the option of moving to the a1-h8 diagonal.}
23.Nef6 {Magnus’ pieces are placed beautifully.}
23… b5 {!} {This is an aggressive and somewhat unexpected response from Anand. A more tempered approach would be:}
( 23…c6 24.Ne3 Nf4 25.Nf5 )
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23... b5.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 23… b5.

24.Bc3 {Magnus avoids playing axb5 immediately as it would give Anand the upper hand.}( 24.axb5 a4 25.bxa4 Rxa4 26.Rc1 Ra2 27.Bc3 Be7 )
24… bxa4 {Anand had several other paths to consider:}
( 24…bxc4 25.bxc4 Kc6 26.Rd3 ( 26.Kf3 Be7 ) Bg7 {and black looks good in either of these.})
( 24…b4 25.Ba1 Bxd5 26.Nxd5 Bg7 27.f4 gxf4+ 28.Nxf4 Rxd1
29.Rxd1 Bxe5 30.Bxe5 Nxe5 31.Nd3 Nxd3 32.Rxd3 Re8 {Would draw.} )
25.bxa4 Kc6
26.Kf3 Rdb8 {!?} {Better would have been Be7, but Anand has an interesting gamble in mind.}
27.Ke4 Rb4 {?!} {Anand takes a dangerous gamble based on his overall situation in the match rather.Vishy’s idea is to create mega imbalances by sacking the exchange for a strong passed pawn while retaining his bishop pair.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27... Rb4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 27… Rb4.

28.Bxb4 {Carlsen accepts Anand’s rook and moves closer to retaining his World Championship title.}
28… cxb4 {?} {Better would have been recapturing with the a-pawn in part because it would create a semi-open file for the rook on a8 to enjoy. It’s unfortunate that Anand followed his gamble with a mistake.}
Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28... cxb4.

Position after Viswanathan Anand plays 28… cxb4.

29.Nh5 {Magnus is preparing f4 in order to open the position and trade pieces.}
29… Kb7
30.f4 gxf4
31.Nhxf4 Nxf4 {With every trade of the pieces, Carlsen is that much closer to victory in the game and match.}
32.Nxf4 Bxc4
33.Rd7 {At this point it is very clear that Anand’s gamble just did not pay off.}
33… Ra6
34.Nd5 {Magnus is making sure that Vishy feels the pressure of his material advantage.}
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34. Nd5.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 34. Nd5.

34… Rc6 {Anand is clinging to life by a thread.} 35.Rxf7 Bc5
36.Rxc7+{!} {This move pretty much seals the deal.}
Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 36. Rxc7+.

Position after Magnus Carlsen plays 36. Rxc7+.

36… Rxc7 {Even with perfect play from black, white wins.}
37.Nxc7 Kc6 {The obvious recapture leads to an even more obvious loss.}
( 37…Kxc7 38.Rc1 b3 39.Rxc4 b2 40.Rxc5+ Kd8 41.Rb5 )
38.Nb5 Bxb5
39.axb5+ Kxb5
40.e6 b3 {I think Anand could have made Carlsen work a little harder by playing:}
( 40…a4 41.Kd3 Be7 42.h4 b3 43.g5 {ends up the same as in the game.})
41.Kd3 Be7
42.h4 a4
43.g5 hxg5 ( 43…a3 44.g6 a2 45.Kc3 Bb4+
46.Kxb3 Bxe1 47.Kxa2 Bxh4 48.g7 {is a more eventful way to lose.})
44.hxg5 a3
45.Kc3 {and Viswanathan Anand resigns in what will likely be his last World Championship game.}
1-0
The final position from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.

The final position from the 2014 FIDE World Chess Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand.

 

I hope you enjoyed the series of lessons I posted from this epic match. Feel free to look through the other games in this series by clicking the links below:

Game 1

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5

Game 6

Game 7

Game 8

Game 9

Game 10


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